New Zealand bans top hats in eventing

New Zealand's Lucy Jackson wears some pretty fancy hats at events but the top hat won't be one of them in the future


Equestrian Sports New Zealand has taken the decision to mandate the use of approved safety helmets for ALL equestrian competition

With immediate effect, the long-established top hat is no longer allowed to be worn in the disciplines of dressage and eventing following ESNZ’s review of helmet safety requirements. We assume that thia also means that we will be seeing the New Zealand team sporting some new head gear in Rio

“This is a major step forward for safety of riders competing in New Zealand and is accompanied by the ESNZ recommendation that helmets should be worn at all time when handling horses” said ESNZ CEO Vicki Glynn on the ESNZ web site

 “Horses can be unpredictable and we know that riding is a risk sport so we must do everything we can to make our equestrians safe” she says. “Sadly we can no longer allow the use of the top hat in competition but the design and elegance of the contemporary safety helmet makes them a worthy replacement and safety must come first.”

What will happen to all those lovely top hats in the New Zealand riders’ tack rooms we wonder? Could be some bargains coming up ...........

Footnote: As it turned out the ruling only applied to New Zealand National competition and FEI rules still apply for New Zealand riders in international competition